Student Reviews

Ellery Eskelin Trio New York


Our jazzconcerts are being reviewed by students from the conservatory. The first student is Bettina Reuterberg who has reviewed the Ellery Eskelin Trio New York.


The autumn winds are finally blowing in over Maastricht and what better way is there to spend a chilly evening than attending a nice concert? On tuesday evening, Maastricht had the great pleasure of hosting Ellery Eskelin and his Trio New York . The concert took place in Ainsi, the Vrijthof theatre annex a bit further down along the Maas. Fitting really, since the location used to be a factory and now looks very much like a bar you'd find somewhere in New York.


The evening started with an opening act from the Conservatory; an international trio consisting of Jusin Min (piano), Justin van Uum (double bass) and Dimitrios Kosmidis (drums), playing a mixture of jazz standards and own compositions, such as my favourite of their performance, Jusin Min's own composition "Pine Forest". 


After a long applause the trio left the stage and so did the audience, to get some refreshments and have a quick break before the main act, Ellery Eskelin Trio New York, would start their show. The Hammond organ was rolled into place, people were seated and kindly asked by main man, Ellery Eskelin, not to distract them with photo flashes and off we went, into their little universe. They created an almost eerie atmosphere, all with the backbone of a rather typical New York sound. Although perhaps not for the fainthearted (this is not jazz for beginners, folks!), the concert seemed very much appreciated by everyone there. My date for the night, a classical violinist, described it as "intense" and "a lot of information", which it really was. 


 At the same time they managed to sound so smooth, which is a terribly skilled thing to pull off! Especially with an instrument line-up like this one, you might expect something heavier in sound. I suspect that the fact that they seemed to play every note as if it would be their last, had something to do with it. I don't think I've ever seen musicians so concentrated while playing. Organist Gary Versace, in particular, was a joy not only to listen to, but to watch,  there was pure happiness on his face while playing. I was mesmerized!


All in all, the trio, consisting of Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone), Gerald Cleaver (drums) and Gary Versace (organ), gave us all a very special evening. They ended the performance with a few jokes, and encore and some laughs from the audience. We all said our goodbyes, got out into the october night and wished we'd be back in Ainsi very soon.


By: Bettina Reuterberg

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